Normally I wait for Domino Dollhouse items to go on sale before I snap them up, but I fell in love with the Oblivion Dress from their new Science/Visions collection and had to have it–especially since I only wear long sleeves in the winter, and I want to get as much wear out of it as possible before the weather warms up. I sold some clothing to my local Buffalo Exchange to help come up with the money (and was pleasantly surprised that they bought a bunch of my size 3x/22 dresses, since they rarely carry anything over a 14), and, as always, used Tess Munster‘s 10% off discount code. I’m so glad I did–the dress is so comfortable, a perfect winter staple.
The body of the dress is made of a comfortable jersey material, and the sleeves are a super-soft faux suede. I love that it looks edgy and vaguely goth, but feels as comfortable as pajamas. I’m hoping to get it in black someday too, if there’s a really good sale.
The jagged hem is everything. I’ve been obsessed with asymmetrical hems lately, and realized that I own very few items with them, so I was happy to remedy that.
I wore the dress to work on Friday with the accessories pictured here, and then on Saturday with different, punkier ones. (Yes, I was so excited that I wore it two days in a row. And did I mention it’s really comfortable?) I will put up pictures from my Saturday adventures–which included the BUST Craftacular, dinner in Chinatown, and the Faneuil Hall Christmas tree lighting–soon.
Every time Domino Dollhouse releases a new collection, there’s some grumbling around the fatshion-o-sphere about their prices. I have complicated feelings, which boil down to: boo, capitalism.
I understand the frustration of fat women who can’t afford Domino Dollhouse’s prices–hell, I probably shouldn’t even be buying their stuff. Their dresses are usually in the range of $70-$90, and their leggings are about $25-$40, which is hella expensive. Tess Munster always has a 10% off discount code, so you can automatically take 10% off of their prices–but 10% off of expensive is still expensive. For me it’s a stretch, but for a lot of women, it’s prohibitive–even when the items go on sale 25% to 50% off, which is how I get most of my DD stuff.
Access to affordable plus size clothing is a real problem, especially for women who are sized out of the cheap juniors plus ranges like Forever 21, Wet Seal, and Deb Shops. They have every right to complain about their lack of affordable options.
At the same time, I don’t blame Domino Dollhouse for their prices. They’re a tiny company consisting of literally two employees, which means they can’t access the low wholesale fabric prices that make it possible for mega-corporations to sell super-cheap clothes. Their clothes are made in the US at a (fat) woman-owned factory, which is good for both the environment and the workers, but also leads to higher prices. And third, their clothing is much higher quality than stuff like Forever 21–it’s built to last. If they sold their items at Forever 21 prices, they wouldn’t be able to break even, let alone make a profit.
Taking all of these factors into account, I think their prices are reasonable; what’s unreasonable is that many women’s wages are so low, and expenses are so high, that they can’t afford good quality clothing. What’s unreasonable is that real wages have stagnated for decades while health care, housing, and education costs have skyrocketed. What’s unreasonable is that women still make less money than men for the same work, and women of color, fat women, and queer/trans women face additional discrimination.
What’s unreasonable is this shitty economic system we live in: a system in which supporting an independent, fat-woman-owned small business is a luxury that only some women can afford. A system in which ultra-low clothing prices are made possible only by environmental destruction and worker exploitation in the Global South, and the most exploited people here in the Global North can’t afford anything else.
I have mixed feelings about my own participation in the system as well. When I buy a DD dress and wear it on my blog and social media, I’m supporting an awesome indie woman-owned business, and spreading the word to potential new customers. I’m helping keep a creative fat woman financially afloat, and helping her continue to make edgy, interesting, fun plus size clothes, which lord knows we need more of.
At the same time, I’m also reinforcing an unattainable standard for women who look at fatshion blogs and see nothing that they can afford. I try to balance out my more expensive purchases with the many clothes I’ve gotten from thrift shops and clothing swaps, but I still worry that I’m creating an image that’s just as unattainable in its own way as the parade of size 0 women in mainstream fashion. I don’t know what the right answer is; I just know that shit’s complicated, capitalism sucks, and pretty dresses are pretty.